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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Keegan

Freshman Selby has fairy-tale beginning

Kansas guard Josh Selby licks his chops after hitting a second three-pointer against USC during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Josh Selby licks his chops after hitting a second three-pointer against USC during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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KU vs. USC

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Kansas defeated USC, 70-68 on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. Freshman Josh Selby scored a game-high 21 points in his debut, including a three pointer with 24 seconds left in the game to give KU win.

It’s been some time since anybody has put on a better show for those lucky enough to gain admission to Saturday’s basketball game in Allen Fieldhouse as the guy whose picture was on the ticket.

Kansas University coach Bill Self and his assistants will find plenty of teaching points on the game film to make freshman Josh Selby better, but all the crowd could say after with their considerable volume was, “Thanks for the memory.”

Coach Kevin O’Neill’s hard-driving USC Trojans nearly spoiled Selby’s debut by ending KU’s fieldhouse winning streak, but Selby didn’t let it happen, pushing the streak to 65 and leaving the audience with but one question: Why wasn’t this charismatic shooting sensation from Baltimore hyped more aggressively in advance of his collegiate debut?

Oh, well, too late to change that.

Selby lit the crowd’s fire shortly after checking into the game after the first TV timeout. From the left wing, he elevated smoothly and quickly flicked a shot at the apex of his jump. Perfect follow-through. Prettiest jumper in the program since Brandon Rush took his to the NBA. Three points. Nothing but net. Crowd went berserk.

The noise was nothing compared to the reaction to Selby’s game-winning three-pointer from the right wing with 26 seconds left in KU’s 70-68 victory that kept the Jayhawks undefeated in 10 games.

OK then, if Selby, who’s such a hot shot he had 21 points in 27 minutes, and Kansas was ranked No. 3 in the nation without him, why did unranked USC, battling the Jayhawks and the crowd, nearly end the streak?

Easy. Basketball teams’ performances aren’t judged based on the sum of their parts, rather on whether the whole is greater or less than the sum of its parts. Even though Selby has practiced with teammates, playing with them against an opponent that doesn’t show its cards represents a different challenge.

Offensively, Selby did a better job of playing with teammates than they did of playing with him. At times, they turned into spectators. Even players can develop tunnel vision and get lost watching a great talent for lapses, especially during a player’s anticipated debut.

For a stretch during the first half, when Selby caught fire, it looked as if teammates followed his lead in quickly putting up shots, even though a great shot for one player is a bad one for another. Tyshawn Taylor had a particularly sub-par game, his worst of the season.

Selby rushed up a couple of shots he ought not to have taken, but for the most part, his game-high point total came without him forcing the issue. Defensively, the effort was there for Selby, just the instincts and knowledge were absent. He helped too aggressively off of USC’s Jio Fontan and was burned for a three, and on a couple of other occasions he failed to rotate. That will take time. So will the team recapturing its offensive rhythm.

Even before that transition becomes smooth, an exciting team already has become more entertaining thanks to the addition of one talented guard who opened and closed his debut with a splash.

“That’s what we expect of him,” Taylor said of Selby. “Big-time players make big-time plays, and that’s what he did today.”

Asked to grade Selby, Taylor said, “A-plus. That shot in itself was an A-plus performance. If that was the only shot he made in the game, I think I’d still give him an A-plus. He’s going to be real good in a couple more games.”

Comments

Funhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

That fun smile during the game was contagious, wasn't it.

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hawk316 3 years, 7 months ago

It may be wishful thinking, but I would love to see this kid stay in Lawrence for at least two years. Considering that his freshman year was truncated, who knows...maybe it could happen. If the twins return, it might be even further inducement. What is maybe a final four team this year could be a national championship team next year with those three, TRob and TT all back.

A fella can dream, can't he?

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Michael Auchard 3 years, 7 months ago

"Why wasn’t this charismatic shooting sensation from Baltimore hyped more aggressively in advance of his collegiate debut?" -- Keegan

For the same reason that the game was billed as a USC game on espn.com's front page, not a Kansas one, although we're the third-ranked team in America, it was in our gym, and the #5 (really #1) ranked freshman in the country was debuting. On the website, they had a lousy picture of Larry David... um, I mean Kevin O'Neil, and some comments barely mentioning the fact that KU was even playing in the game.

It's because we live in the podunk Midwest, and the mainstream media doesn't give a damn about anything that goes on in Lawrence, Kansas. You might as well hold the game in the Outer Mongolian Civic Center as far as ESPN and their ilk are concerned.

"Oh, Lawrence... that's near Chicago, right?"

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Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

I wish it were! I'd be going to more games then.

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Ryan Wood 3 years, 7 months ago

Absurd inferiority complex with no facts to back it up. Kansas is one of the 3 or 4 most respected college basketball programs in America. The Jayhawks are on ESPN all the time. The national media are always at Kansas games. College Gameday comes to Lawrence almost every year.

To say that the Kansas Jayhawks are ignored by the mainstream media is an insult to everyone's intelligence, and I bet most Kansas fans think that claim is ridiculous.

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hathead 3 years, 7 months ago

Want a fact? Watch the first half of the game again. You'll notice when they pull up the list of the 12 remaining undefeated teams in the nation that they aren't alphabetized or ordered by national rank, but instead they list, if I remember correctly, east coast teams and then further down the line they eventually get to KU. Something like 5th or 6th on the list. It's a FACT. Is it a coincidence? Watch the game again and tell us.

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hathead 3 years, 7 months ago

"Everybody looks. Not everybody sees." -Coach Knight, this game.

Just because YOU don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

All the best.

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NJHAWK 3 years, 7 months ago

Yahweh, I completely agree with you. Those who do not see it, are in a state of denial. All you hear on east coast is Duke (and Irving), Harrison Barnes, Syracuse, etc etc. Lead story for the first game of Carolina was all about Barnes. ESPN covers KU games because they have to. Self and Roy have compelled ESPN to cover KU program (with its success).

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oldalum 3 years, 7 months ago

I thought he meant it sarcastically. Selby was totally hyped by everyone.

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actorman 3 years, 7 months ago

"... leaving the audience with but one question: Why wasn’t this charismatic shooting sensation from Baltimore hyped more aggressively in advance of his collegiate debut?"

For all you Keegan bashers, you have to give him a little credit for that line; that was pretty funny.

What an incredible debut. I was thinking to myself during the game, "How great would it be if Selby hit the game-winning shot?" Who could have imagined that that's how it would play out?

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kcglowboy 3 years, 7 months ago

It was. I give him credit. Almost enough to make up for that gawd-awful, run-on, incoherent opening paragraph. And what's sad is that this article contains some pretty interesting insights into the game and into Selby's performance. In other words, good reporting. But the writing (and lack of editing) is just so awful that it makes the whole thing difficult to read.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

Best first time performance by any guard since Jo Jo White or maybe Darnell Valentine......this kid is the real deal.

It was also great how much time the spent on Josh's Mom and how she thanked God her son was at Kansas.....I hope BenMac and Double D's Moms saw the game and heard her as well!!

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Robert Brock 3 years, 7 months ago

Jo Jo was electifying. Selby is good, but Jo Jo really changed the way the '66 club played the game. Not the same last night. I'm glad that he can stroke an ordinary jump shot - something that the rest of the squad sometimes has difficulty doing - but we will have to see more game for Selby to be mentioned in the same sentence with Jo Jo White.

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Brian Conrad 3 years, 7 months ago

Jo Jo had way lower quality players around him. very impressive to do this with 5 other potential NBA players on same team. loved Jo Jo and HE WAS NOT OUT OF BOUNDS .. should have another trophy from Texas Western

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Kirk 3 years, 7 months ago

Also didn't Jo Jo play at KU for more than 3/4 of a single season?

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baldwinjhawk 3 years, 7 months ago

Dickie V would've said "THAT'S MY DIAPER DANDY BABY, WHAT A SHOT!". I'm glad we didn't have to listen to Dukie V calling the game though.... A hollywood ending for sure for Selby, how exciting. I'm not sure I understand his under hand passing, but I'll adjust..lol. Tyshawn Taylor was terrible, so lazy and careless with the ball and then he stood around and watched when he didn't have the ball. UGGGh. We don't have a point guard. It's frustrating. Great game Josh!

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Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

We got lucky.

"Luck" has a name...

...Josh Selby.

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AirCapJay 3 years, 7 months ago

I think we would have won the game without Selby. The team was too rapped up in the Selby hype to play their normal game. They were out of sync. A few more games under their belt playing with Selby with fix the problem.

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Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

I disagree. Defensively, USC locked us up...prevented our offense from clicking. When Selby was out of the game we didn't score the ball well. The very thing we needed in that game was some instant offense, and Selby gave us that lift. When he was in the game a lot of focus was placed on him (as was said in the postgame by some USC players), and so that opened up other guys simply by virtue of his presence on the floor. I say we were rescued by a freshman on this one.

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Ryan Sullivan 3 years, 7 months ago

Yes, Maxhawk. What a huge letdown Selby was defensively. And he's very one dimentional on offense. How did this kid get a scholarship? He sucks.

I read one of your posts the other day. Seriously, what is your deal? Are you like a 90 year old grumpy old man or do you literally have some personal problem with this kid?

After those comments you posted the other day, you should be burying your head in the sand right now. The kid had 21 points, hit the game winning shot, and was our only consistent free throw shooter. No Selby = KU loss.

It was his first game. He will get better on defense - not that he was THAT bad yesterday. And wait until he gets into the open court and gets a tad more comfortable in driving to the hoop - I don't know, maybe in his 2nd or 3rd game of his college career.

I don't know you Max, but you kind of seem like a jacka$$. And I hate to say that about another KU fan. Bottom line, you were dead wrong about Selby not living up to the hype. If you don't want to own up to that, fine, then just go away and stop trying to pick apart his paly in his 1st college game. You must be AWEFULLY prideful to still even attempt to stand by your previous comments.

I really do want to know if you're just a grumpy old man or if the holidays have got you down or if you have some personal problem with Selby. Fess up, and have a Merry Xmas!

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Joe Ross 3 years, 7 months ago

His defense did stink, though. Seriously.

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archercc 3 years, 7 months ago

Haha, no. They dont play defense in the NBA. He will be gone if there isnt a lock-out.

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Greg Lux 3 years, 7 months ago

If you didn't see a kid ( young man ok ) having a great time out there you missed something special. That smile is infectious. He deserves every accolade he can receive for the performance yesterday. I can't imagine the pressure we all put on this young man and he carried it like a feather. Not many freshman players could preform with the expectations he had on him in front of 16k plus fans screaming at every opportunity. Kudos to a kid with a special talent and a family with the love to keep him out of trouble and give him this chance at life.

Rock Chalk

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Ashwin Rao 3 years, 7 months ago

I just re-read the article about him that was published earlier in the year... http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/ap.... Makes the debut a little bit sweeter!

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Bear86 3 years, 7 months ago

Big Time shot by a big time player. Let's just hope the rest of the team get's their s*%#t together. By far the weakest offensive game of the year. The Morris twins are turning out to be a liability (not a force by any means). Looking forward to watching the Hawks in Berkley. The Jayhawk nation on the Left coast will be out in force. Rock Chalk! F-Texas!!!!

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gimmetheclaw78 3 years, 7 months ago

Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but who was it that predicted 21 points for Selby?

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

I think it was my buddy, Jaybate.

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Brian Conrad 3 years, 7 months ago

clueless would be step up for this guy. must have missed Brady's fantastic last 2 minutes of game saving play

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Brian Conrad 3 years, 7 months ago

just sad he has to live in Nebraska. must have had toooo much corn holeooo

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Layne Pierce 3 years, 7 months ago

jayhawkinne

Self has said many times that Brady is the best at passing the ball into the post,, and he often makes defensive plays, such as the from the behind steal at the end of the UCLA game.

He is a glue player, somebody that does the dirty work, and I for one am glad we have him. I'm sure Doc Sadler would take him in a minute.

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Tony Bandle 3 years, 7 months ago

Dick Vitale fondles himself in front of a full-size nude photo of coach K every morning before breakfast.

I know this post will probably be deleted, but it sure sounds funny!! :)

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Dan Pawlowski 3 years, 7 months ago

Thanks for an image that I will never be able to erase. Think about your fellow man before you post again.

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Dan Pawlowski 3 years, 7 months ago

Wow the article never mentioned Brady Morningstar but not counting this post his name was brought up 9 times by you guys. Give it up the horse is now glue. Lets face it , he will play as long as the coach deems him worthy at and this point I don't see it changing. Besides he is a senior and provides leadership on the floor. Something most teams treasure. If you feel the need to contribute your 2¢ worth I will point you to an article that actually mentions him. http://www2.kusports.com/news/2010/de.... I will remind you that 2¢ buys you nothing these days.

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